A New Begining

This morning my sweet Mother-in-Law, Ginny passed away. She was one of the nicest people I ever knew. Seven years ago Ginny and I planned a funeral for her son, my husband. She walked me through all his health issues, hospital stay’s and heart surgery. I could always count on her. They say a mother should never have to bury her children. This is true, her grief from the loss of her only son, Paul, was probably one of the hardest times in her life. Yet she was so much support to me in that moment in time. Rest in Peace sweet Ginny.

As you all know, I lost my sweet little dog of 15 years last weekend. She was Paul’s bright light in his day. Cricket was the buffer when our marriage was struggling, and his health failed. I feel as though I am shutting the door to an era in my life.

I’ve been reflecting on the last 15 years of my life. I feel like I am waking from a dream. Not a bad dream, just a dream. So much has changed in that 15 years. I lost both of my parents, my husband, my very favorite aunt, a Mother in law, two dogs, plus closing my beauty shop and retired from hairdressing. All of those things meant so much to me, and defined who I was.

We have choices in life. We all will experience hard times and feel losses we are never prepared for. But we don’t have to allow these things to destroy us. I almost did. Sadly I fell into my puddle of sorrow and wallowed in it entirely too long. In the process of that, I gained 300 pounds. Some of that weight I worked so hard to lose previously.

Now I can whine and list all the awful things that have happened to me, and use them as an excuse to be self destructive. I have done that and it got me nowhere. Or, I can take the hand that has been dealt to me, and use it to catapult myself to a new place. A better place. Our negative experiences don’t have to produce a negative life. We are capable of taking the garbage and rubble of our lives and transforming it into our best treasure. The very thing that got you down, can fling you to a level in life you never even dream you could achieve.

 

 

The language of Love

 

I was sitting on the bed drinking coffee and watching the Chew and Lily my sweet little maltese IMG_0601was snuggled beside me when I though about how I miss Cricket my little black Pomeranian that I lose this week. Then I reached over and gave Lily a treat. Nothing wrong with that, but it was her 3rd treat today! I was loving her with treats. Even though dogs love them, and feel the love when we treat them. too much of anything is bad for you. I must be mindful of this before I have an overweight dog on my hands. I can love Lily in many different ways, one is to take her for a ride. She loved to ride in the car, what dog doesn’t?

When I was a little girl, my Dad was in charge of me on Saturdays. My Mother worked downtown in the jewelry department in a fancy department store called Yonkers.yonkers She was very attractive and both of my folks dressed to the nines. She was right there by the front revolving doors. She was the first impression, the pretty lady in the jewelry counter. My Dad and I would run errands. Which often left me in the mens department in the J C Penney’s store downtown. What a drag for a little girl, looking through mens clothing. Every department store had a candy counter. It was usually a clerk surrounded by every kind of candy you could think of,candy and you ordered by the pound, well sort of. I would get a nickel, and I could pick out what kind I wanted for 5 cents. In the 60’s, you could buy a lot of candy with a nickel. A nickel from my Father to buy candy was an I love you, in my eyes. Then we would go home and put a roast in the oven so it would be ready when mom came home. Daddy’s are very important to little girls, they are the first men we know. They teach us our worth as a girl, and have much to do with our self esteem as an adult. They also teach us our own love language.

How do you love your children, your husband, your dog, or loved one? Do you feel loved when you get some editable delight from someone you love? Do you show love by cooking a special meal? Do you have treats ready for your grandkids when they come to visit? Now some of this is OK. making memories with your grandkids with a special treat is fine. But if you think you are defining that love with someone through food, its not OK. Is the main way you show love through food? I have a very dear friend, almost like a nephew to me, that mows my lawn. I think the world of Steele and his sweet wife Ruby.

Me and Ruby

Me and Ruby

I always send them home with something to eat . Giving is my nature, so it comes easy, but I do want to show them love in other ways as well.

Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner. What are you going to do with your language of love? So much of the holiday season is food related. It’s inevitable, we can not avoid that, nor do we want to. Food is meant to be enjoyed, just not abused. Maybe this year we can think of non food ways to celebrate the Holidays. Think outside the box. What would be a great non food addition to your Christmas Eve? Christmas day? New Years? So much of having a successful weight loss is to have a plan instead of flying by the seat of our pants. Now I’m not implying to make a super structured ridged holiday. I mean, aren’t many of the really fun moments born out of spontanity? Just set yourself up for success.

Let’s be honest here….

halloween candy

If I am really serious about losing weight why…..

 

 

Do I keep all those coupons for Pizza?

do I make enough Christmas cookies to feed all the soldiers in Iran?
am I posting fattening food on Facebook? My friends can find their own recipies.
am I buying treats “in case” someone comes to visit?
do I drive my grocery cart past the bakery department?
did I buy too much Halloween candy?
am I making treats ” for my loved ones”?
do I keep filling the candy dish, why do I have a candy dish?
I can’t remember the last time you ate anything green?
do I go out to lunch at a place that has food you know is hard to resist?
do I buy my favorite candy for the trick or treaters if I do not plan on eating it?
did I gobble up all the samples at SAMs club?

Let’s be honest here, we do things out of habit, and sometimes out of denial. We are guilty of at least a few of the things posted above. There are things we need to let go of to successfully get healthy. For so many of us, food is our love language. It is for me. Things like having doughnuts “for your family” sitting on the counter. There are many other ways to love our families,  one being, taking care of yourself so they don’t have to bury you at a young age. Making a big pan of brownies and telling yourself you will just have one. You know you won’t. No more browniesAnd you will be living with that pan of brownies calling your name. Or, do what I did, slice strips of it off the whole pan instead of cutting out a piece so it won’t be noticed. (yeah, right)

So many times we use our loved ones as an excuse to make unhealthy choices. Or, we just don’t speak up for ourselves, and allow them to bring unhealthy food in the house. fruitI use to keep things around like bags of chocolate chips, in case I wanted to make cookies for a friend, and before I knew it, I had opened it, and continued nibbling until is was gone. In fact, mostly my chocolate chips rarely ended up in cookies or out of my house. It’s getting close to Christmas, we all love the ritual of making Christmas cookies. What if you decided this year you won’t be making cookies? Trust me, your world won’t fall apart, and your Christmas won’t be ruined. There are so many more beneficial things you can do with your family. So what if they will miss your traditional treats you make and whine a bit? It’s much better than missing your not being alive to enjoy the many Christmas’s to come with them. Your little ones would far more enjoy an outing with you to a bakery or restaurant where you can buy one treat and not have to bring it home.

I know what you are thinking, “It’s Christmas, my family would be lost without these traditions, besides, I am truly committed to my food plan, I can handle resisting these things” Sometimes these things can appear to be more important to us than the loved ones we are trying to please. christmas cookiesThey may express that they miss your special homemade cookies, but trust me, they will get over it. The guilt your put on yourself is much greater than their longing for a Christmas cookie.

So who’s to say we can’t make healthy traditions at Christmas? Those beautiful fruit and vegetable Christmas trees and wreaths are adorable to have for the holiday. Pinterest is full of great idea, how to make a holiday vegetable platter or trees.veggies christmas tree Your neighbors might really appreciate receiving one of these instead of another plate of cookies. Your coworkers might appreciate that fruit basket for that diet they will be starting January 1. I promise your children and grandchildren will enjoy doing that with you every bit as much as frosting Christmas cookies. And if they don’t, they will make the sacrifice to just have you around for the many Christmases to come.

Food is a funny thing. Too much is killing us, and unlike drugs or alcohol, we have to have it around us to some extent. But would it be a little much to ask an alcoholic to be making moonshine to give out as a gift, yet never taste it? Why tempt yourself, when its hard enough the way it is. Set yourself up for success.

I think there is a secret part of us that does not want to let go of this stuff for selfish reasons, we think we can get by with just a little taste. If is not there, it won’t tempt us. Set your life up for victories rather than failures. You will discover that all the time you spent elbow deep in frosting will free you up for much more important things. Besides, your kitchen stays clean.

Cricket

(The below drawing was done for me of my little dog Cricket by my dear talented  friend Jonny Binkard)

My sweet little 15-year-old Pomeranian, Cricket died at 2 AM. She had been coughing a lot, and had heart failure, but she was doing pretty good with the meds I got for her. Last night she passed out, and after that she was struggling to breath and wheezing.IMG_0420 I have a close family friend who happens to be my veterinarian as well, who came to my home and we sent her to her great reward. I am sad, but at peace. It happened so fast, but she did not suffer much until the very end. We all know that someday we have to say goodbye to our pets.

I got her the first year I was married. I did not get married until I was 44. I was that fat girl everyone loved yet never dated, I was everyone’s friend. I met Paul on the internet right after I had lost 200 pounds. He asked me to marry him, I said yes, because I thought no one else would ask me. He was a nice guy, but I was not ready to be married, and we struggled. Cricket was a rescue, she chose us, she rescued us. Both of my parents died while we were married as well as my favorite aunt who had Alzheimers and I watched over in the nursing home. Cricket was the thing that connected us. Paul loved her, and she adored him. They went everywhere together. It was endearing, seeing my 6 foot 2 inch 280 pound husband with a little black Pomeranian.  Soon shortly after we married, Paul started having grand maul seizures and we also discovered he had a serious heart problem. Paul suddenly died at work one day after we had been married only 7 years at the young age of 52. I was a 50 year old widow.

After Paul died, I gained all the weight back plus an extra 100 pounds. I closed my beauty shop and just shut down. I took some classes at the local Community College, but even that became too difficult to mobilize anymore.  I spent the next 7 years in my house, rarely getting out, and in bed most of my days. I ballooned up to 537 pounds. Nothing had a purpose, I had no purpose. I was always the caretaker, the friend, mostly in service to everyone around me. I was a hairdresser, a service job.  I loved doing that for the most part, but I forgot to take care of me as well. So when everyone died, I was lost. I felt worthless and useless. I had no purpose anymore.

I have a plethora of friends. I don’t know why I am so blessed, but I am. I don’t have any family, so I guess God filled in the missing part of my life with friends. But as thankful as I was with all the beautiful friends, I really missed family. Cricket and Lily my little maltase were my girls. They were family.  I went through the hardest parts of my life with them.

My friend all prayed for me, and kept trying to help every way they could. My survival is due to my friends who went way beyond their responsibility as a friend. Sometimes when you are loved more than you love yourself that’s all you need to see you have value.

I read on Sean Anderson’s blog “Diary of a Winning Loser” just the day before I had to let go of Cricket, about the awful accident in that parade in Oklahoma, Seans hometown. he wrote this in his blog

“Normally, no matter what happens in the world, this blog carries on without missing a beat. It’s that way for a reason. Never again will I use the tragedies of the world to excuse self-destructive behavior, as in “with everything that’s happened, it makes what I’m doing seem insignificant in the big picture. I’ll revisit this whole taking extraordinary care thing another time, when things are better.” This type of self-enabling thought process is disguised as a selfless act of concern.

How would not taking care improve what’s happened? It doesn’t. This thought process is guaranteed to keep us down, because when things get better, something else happens, somewhere.”

I remembered that reading today when I just wanted to throw in the towel and order a pizza instead of making something healthy to eat. Those words rang loud in my head.God uses broken people I am so grateful for Sean’s ability to speak his truth. People need people. We all have something to offer each other, and it often happens when we are not even trying or even aware.

Cricket was my last connection to my past life. She symbolizes so many things in my life. All things in my life are becoming new. I’m learning from my past and using the lessons I learned to push me in to my new beginning. I will remember how she laid on my bed and patiently allowed me to cry in her fur.  I will take the unconditional love my little Cricket gave so freely and see I am worth loving.

 

Lonelyness

I’m having a weapy lonely day today. It happens to everyone once in a while no matter how many loved ones you have around you. Sometimes it’s very hard to see all my friends with family around them. I am not milking sympathy here, but I have no family, its just the way it is.  Today would have been my Mothers 85th birthday.

My Mother and I in 1996 after I lost 200 pounds.

My Mother and I in 1996 after I lost 200 pounds.

She has been gone 15 years. We were very close, in fact, we had a not-so-healthy emotional dependance on each other. When she died, I was lost. She was the glue that kept everyone together, so I tried to pick up where she left off, but I just couldn’t. I came across as controlling and failed miserably. No one can replace another, no matter how we try.

In my past, I use to try to shove food in those lonely places. If I made something decatant and lots of it, I could eat it and shove the loneliness way down. That would put me in a food coma, and I could just fall asleep without feeling anything. Loneliness is not the only catalyst for emotional eating. Insecurity, self doubt, fear and anxiety can be, as well. It does not even need to be a negative emotion, It could be a means of celebrating, or feel relief, or nurturing. I always want to eat after I have been to the doctor, take a test, or anything that brings anxiety. Food has always been a reward.

I grew up in a deeply Christian home. I am grateful for the heritage I have. Very conservative Scandinavian people don’t express emotions very well, High or low. That combined with the Fundamental Christian religion I grew up with, there were limits on what kind of recreational activity I was  allowed to do. NO movies, dancing, smoking, drinking, cursing or playing cards. EVER! This was kind of rigid for a teenager. Some of it was good clean living, many standards I still live by. But it sure left me curious how the other side lived, of which I sometimes rebelled. It also left me very bored at times. Food filled in all of those empty places.

Good Christian people know how to eat. We have to, we don’t have anything else we can do with each other. All those church pot lucks will prove it. We are good cooks, and many a church cookbooks will prove that. My family was not athletic so sports were out. Every event focused on food. We would have huge family dinners. HUGE,  meaning LOTS of food. The woman would clean up after a big meal, and a few hours later we would make a lunch before company left, regardless how full we still were. I can remember sitting in the living room with family, on a Sunday afternoon bored to death with the polite conversation that seemed to go on for hours.

In my current physical state, although I am feeling better everyday, I am still living a life of isolation. I am gradualy walking out of that past life, but I still have days when the urge to use food to rescue me is overwhelming. Even though I have walked through most of my emotional issues with food. I know how all of them trigger my deep craving to use food to abuse myself, I still struggle. Knowing what triggers a feeling is good, but it does not dissipate the urge. An urge, is simply an urge. Once recognized our amazing brains have the power to stop them. Whatever created the urge, is not what makes us behave a certain way. its the URGE that drives the behavior. Webster describes an urge as:

: to ask people to do or support (something) in a way that shows that you believe it is very important

: to try to persuade (someone) in a serious way to do something

Notice it says to TRY, to ask, not to force. We still have the choice to act on our urges. So next time you have an urge, remember its only an urge, you have control over how an urge will affect your life. We are not at the mercy of our urges, no matter where they came from. We are responsible for our own actions. In a world that likes to blame others for our bad behavior, remember only you are the boss of you!

………later this afternoon…….

I was chatting with a friend on the phone telling her I was having a lonely day.  I said it was the loneliness that is hard, not being alone. There is a difference. I am by nature pretty independent, and embrace my alone time. But I am feeling loneliness today. Loneliness for past loved ones and friends I have not seen in a while. I believe we have to learn to be alone and content before we can fully nurture healthy relationships. Have a good day!

Guilty Pleasures

Happy Saturday!

I love lazy Saturday mornings! The sun is shining and the Nebraska Cornhuskers are playing today! Go Big Red!

One of my guilty pleasures is a good cup of coffee. I love espresso! my favorite is a skinny vanilla Latte with 4 or 5 shots of espresso. I love the strong yet smooth taste of the coffee with the sweet foam from the steamed milk. I have a fancy smancy espresso maker. IMG_0621This coffee maker totally broke my budget 12 years ago, but I can’t tell you how much I love it. If  there were a fire in my house, I would first grab my dogs, then if time allowed, I would grab my Jura Espresso S9. This baby grinds, tamps, and pulls the shots for you, and in less than a minute, you get a nice shot of espressoIMG_0627 with the yummy crema floating on top. Who ever elevated a coffee bean to this level should be celebrated!

Yesterday my friend Pat and I made some killer Pumpkin Cranberry bran fat free muffins. I made up the recipe, I do that a lot with muffins. Sometimes they turn out great, sometimes not so great. But these turned out exceptional. Here’s the recipe. If you have any questions abut the recipe message me.

I punched in the numbers from the recipe on MFP and the jumbo muffins were 198 calories each. Full of fiber, low in fat and super healthy. These are dense healthy muffins, not light cupcakes without frosting.

IMG_3559

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Pumpkin Cranberry Bran Muffins

1 large can puréed pumpkin
3 eggs
1 quart buttermilk fat free
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
I box of all Bran cereal
4 cups Bisquick
1 cup craisons
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon soda powder
1 tablespoons baking powder

Optional roasted pumpkin seeds for top of muffins

Makes 30 jumbo muffins
198 calories
60 regular size 99 calories

Pour the quart of buttermilk over All Bran and let it soak for 10 minuites. Add the rest of the ingredients mix well. Place liners in muffin tins and spray each liner with Pam. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes for large muffins. Test with toothpick if comes out clean, they are done. I put in individual ziplock sandwich bags and freeze. Can be thawed in microwave for 45 seconds to a minute. So good with a cup of coffee.

 

So here I am on a lazy Saturday sitting on my bed with my laptop with a cup of great coffee, a fresh healthy muffin, and my Huskers on TV.

A year ago, I could barely push myself out of bed. I would sleep most of the day and shuffle into the kitchen to make something easy and very unhealthy to eat. I would spend sometime on social media, feel sorry for myself and probably post some snarly self loathing post and pass out asleep the rest of the afternoon. I’m not proud of this at all. But it is my truth. I don’t live that way anymore, and life is getting better daily.

Today I am grateful for the progress I have made. But I’m not even close to where I want to be. I think I need to push myself a little more. I don’t believe I realize what I am now capable of, because I spent so much time shut down. I did not really want to post that last sentence, because now I’m accountable and have to do something about it.

This evolution to wellness is quirky. Suddenly I will catch myself doing something I have not done in years, without even noticing. I’m getting up and moving around in my kitchen these days, rather than scoot around on my stool that has wheels. It is so much easier to just get up and go to the fridge than roll my chubby self over there. Last year I would rather die than push my body to an upright position and walk across the room. Oh I could do it, but it was unbelievable pain. As I see myself regain health without realizing it, the same happens when we lose out health. We quit walking into the store, we order more stuff on Amazon to avoid shopping, we drove through for our food. It starts with stuff we don’t even realize. None of this happens over night. And soon, you realize you are unable to do the simplest things. My advice would be to guard yourself against this behavior. it sneaks up on you, and soon you can be in a whole lot of trouble. I think this could be applied to many other things in life.

Enjoy your Saturday everyone! Go Big Red!go-big-red

I could of had a V8!

“I could of had a V8!

If you are old like me you will remember that add. I like V8, not as much as I like chocolate cake, but it’s good. I was trying to think of what I wanted for Lunch today and I kind of had to talk myself out of a ham sandwich slathered with Mayo and a slice of melted cheese. Now I can eat those things, a lightened up version, but I’m trying to Make better choices, and I really don’t like to use up a lot of calories on my midday meal. So, I said a little prayer, asking God to help me make good choices today, and put together this little lunch. FullSizeRenderWhich is a can of V8, some home made hummus (which I pre-portioned after I made it yesterday) some pita chips, (which were also pre-portioned) and some baby carrots. This is a very healthy lunch and comes in just over 400 calories. It tasted great, I forgot how good V8 was.

Most of us struggle with cravings, or making better choices. Sometimes we just have to give it a little more thought. A year ago I would let fresh vegetables and cans of V8 get rotten or old in my kitchen. Sometimes we have to think about how we will feel, rather than how it will taste. it feels good to eat healthy, it’s not only healthy, it makes us feel confident and like we have control over what we eat.  imageJust buying those fresh vegetables and healthy food is not enough. We have to set ourself up for success. This includes taking the time to do a little preparing.

Some of what I do is pretty simple, but takes a few minutes. Are you worth a few minutes if it means you will have a successful weight loss? When I made my hummus this weekend, I put the hummus in small 4 ounce cups that I ordered on Amazon. I also put 10 pita chips in several Ziplock Sandwich Bags and added a little hummus cup to each bag. I know what you are thinking…..”I don’t have the time or want to fuss with all that”. Really? So I guess you don’t think you are worth the trouble. Trust me, you are! I now have the bottom drawer of my refrigerator filled with little sandwich bags with appropriate portions of humus and pita chips I can grab and go. If I had not bothered the do that prep work yesterday, I may have had that ham and cheese sandwich, and who knows what else. And now I have snacks ready to go for a few weeks! These are the little things that make or break us. They are not rocket science, and they may seem silly and unimportant, but they matter greatly when you are trying to break old habits and get healthy.

I remember watching Dr. Phil once saying, in order to lose weight it’s not willpower so much that gets success but it’s setting ourselves up to not fail. This includes removing tempting food you have no business having in your cupboards, and having healthy food ready and available. He had one of his producers go into a woman kitchen, she had bags and bags of Doritoes, he had her remove them. Doritos are my very favorite chips. I remember thinking, oh dear, I couldn’t live without Doritoes! So what I did was buy a big box of 1 ounce bags of Doritos, this way I can control my portions. This may not work for you, I have had people tell me they would just eat several bags. But it works for me, one bag is just enough. Only you know what works for you.

So all that said, please give thought about where you biggest food struggles lie, and try to think out of the box as to how to resolve them. I’m going to put a few cans of V8 on my dresser in my bedroom for those late nights when I want to eat something. This will keep me out of the kitchen. Sometimes I have a bowl of fruit on my dresser. Only you know what you need to do to have success. I would love to hear what little tricks you do to have success. Leave me a message and let me know.

Portion Extortion

My biggest struggle with losing weight is portion. I was one pound down today.  I am doing well, but I know I’m eating too big of portions. I can do better.  Come on, be real, some of you do too.

I’ve been reading a lot of weight loss blogs lately to learn how to improve my own blog. Some of these wonderful people post pictures daily of every piece of food they put in their mouth. I’m considering doing this. Accountability is a powerful tool.  I have learned a lot from these awesome people. (please check out my list of blogs I love to read)  It causes me to think about how big my portions are. I live alone, and eat alone most of the time, I think it’s easier to over eat when you are alone.woman_eating-alone-2 There’s that shame factor again. I don’t want to over eat in front of my family or friends. My whole life I think 95% of my over eating was done alone. Part of what I miss about being married was having someone to eat dinner with.

I am not one of those people who asked for a doggy bag when I go out to eat. Unless I am trying not to look like a pig and restrain from eating all of whats on my plate. (in that case I will take it home and eat it when I get home.)

oh3469p99-cereal-pours-m

I think this is funny because the top one is average. I don’t think I have ever seen anyone eat this small of a portion of cereal.

All that said, I needed a review of what size portions I need to be eating. Some of the issues I have are, a cup of pasta (I can pack a cup of pasta so solid that you need to use a crow bar to get it out.)  Potatoes big enough to be doorstops, a chicken breast the size of a VCR tape, and a steak the size of my Mothers Sunday pot roast. I rarely eat cereal. Not because I don’t like it, but the normal portion never satisfies and leaves me wanting more. Its not worth the calories.

It occurred to me, as a baby boomer, we were the last generation to take home-ec in school. So even though at some point I’m sure kids are taught measurements, they really don’t get to apply them to our life as much as I did.SimpleTruth_PortionSizes-1 Many people don’t cook daily, like we did, in a world where jello is purchased pre-made, and a blue box of mac and cheese is considered to be cooking. (those were fast foods in my day)

One thing that really helps round out your plate is adding condiments. Not ketchup and sauces so much, but pickles, slices of an orange or apple. Take the time to make an attractive plate of food. You deserve to be  treated special. Speaking of ketchup, Have you really seen what a tablespoon of ketchup really is?Are-american-portions-too-big (No, its not 10 packets of ketchup you get at a fast food place.) One tablespoon of ketchup is 20 calories, but who stops at that? 5 or 6  packets of ketchup could be an extra 100 calories!

I am not suggesting we carry a food scale in our handbags, or dangle measuring cups from your rear view mirror. Just be mindful, and do reality checks once in a while. So blow the dust off your measuring cups and get to measuring.

 

Gravity : the force that causes things to fall towards the Earth.

I hate gravity! Gravity is responsible for most of my struggles. As I age, I really see the impact gravity has on me. I was chatting with a friend and looking through some old pictures today. I found 2 pictures, same weight, but 20 years apart. I was surprised to see my face looked fatter in the older picture of my youth than the current picture. See what you think:

2015 58 years old

2015 58 years old

1995 38 years old

1995 38 years old

This caused me to think about other areas of my body that gravity has taken over. Like my boobs, arms, thighs and my belly. All have shifted south. I am sure as I keep losing weight Spanx will be my new best friend. yes, I will have loose skin issues. But I will gladly trade loose skin for living a good life. I have no aspirations to ever wear a bikini.

In my younger years, a lot of my weight was in my upper body. I always described my body shape like a bottle of Dawn dish soap. You know, kinda big in the shoulders, then wider as you went down.

This is one more reason the way we look does not define our worth. But, what is worth something is our health. As you get older you realize how valuable your health truly is. I believe that being healthy is much more attractive than how big we are. Being healthy enables us to live a better life. Some people need to land in the hospital or have a major health scare to do something about losing weight and regain their health. For some, that is not even an awakening. I have seen people who’s weight issues put them in the hospital and on the way home from the hospital they stop for fast food. I did not end up in the hospital, but my weight caused me to spend the last several years primarily in my bed.

The only lasting reason to lose weight is for better health. Your motivation can’t be to wear a bikini, look good for an upcoming wedding or event, look good in pictures, or to find the love of your life. Health, and health alone has to be the primary reason to lose weight. When that is your bottom line, your shame fades, and you can become honest. After all the most attractive thing about anyone is their health, and confidence.